Tuesday, August 23, 2011

WrestleFlix

Part of the DVD collection
By Chad Smart
@ChadSmart on Twitter


A little over two years ago I looked around my small apartment and saw six DVD shelves filled with approximately 750 DVDs. I started questioning why I had so many DVDs. Many I had only watched once or twice. There were about 20 DVDs that weren’t even opened. In that collection of DVDs were about 300-350 wrestling related DVDs. Over the last 24 months I have dwindled my collection to around 200 and am still trying to figure out what DVDs can hit the chopping block. Most of the DVDs were sold back to local DVD stores. The wrestling DVDs were mostly split up and passed on to the other 2/3 of my123cents, Kevin and Travis. Then there were the five years of Chikara DVDs that I sold on ebay for a fraction of what I paid for them. I consider that moment a lack of common sense.

While I was making room on my DVD shelves, I pretty much took a year off from watching independent wrestling. This year I started getting back into Chikara and have ordered all of their shows this year up to their two latest shows. I haven’t ordered them yet partially due to waiting until I had the money and partially due to thinking I don’t want to rebuild my DVD collection. Most of the DVDs I buy, I watch once and then they sit on the shelf until I get bored and decide to throw them on as background noise. Why do I need to keep buying DVDs that will spend more time gathering dust than actually getting played?

Punk in ROH
While debating on whether or not to order the newest Chikara DVDs I looked at the Smart Mark Video (www.smartmarkvideo.com), where Chikara DVDs can be purchased, website.  There are at least 20 different promotions available. That doesn’t include Ring of Honor DVDs which can be bought on ROH’s website, or Pro Wrestling Guerrilla DVDs which are available on www.highspots.com. With at least four major independent companies putting on one or two shows a month and only being able to be seen via DVD, a die hard wrestling fan would have to spend at least $80 a month to stay on top of the wrestling scene. That doesn’t include money spent on cable/satellite to watch WWE and TNA and money for WWE/TNA DVDs.

Between the cost and the amount of space needed to be a die hard wrestling fan, there needs to be an alternative to simply buying DVD after DVD. I don’t know what it would take to implement it but I would like to see a Netflix type service for wrestling videos. I would gladly shell out $10-20 a month to be able to watch as many Indy wrestling shows as I could get through. I believe there was a site that offered such service with Chikara shows a couple years ago, but I couldn’t find it so I guess it must have shut down.

I don’t know if there is a big enough interest in such a service to make it feasible. I’m not sure how much money each wrestling promotion would want for the rights to distribute their shows. You’d have to assume if WrestleFlix was a reality promotions would see a decline in DVD sales so the companies would need enough of a licensing fee to offset any loss of DVD profits.

On the positive hand, if WrestleFlix was around it may lead to more fans checking out wrestling promotions they wouldn’t otherwise see due to not wanting to spend money on random DVDs. This could lead to larger live audiences and more support for Indy wrestlers in their attempt to make it to the major leagues.

I’m curious to hear what you think of this idea. Would you want to see a company that either rents wrestling DVDs or allows instant streaming via the interweb? How much would you be willing to pay? Is there any specific wrestling company you would like to see offer this service?  Share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter

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